For the past year, ever since the election of President Ma Ying-jeou and his overtures toward Beijing, Taiwan’s tourism industry has been pinning its hopes on an influx of mainland Chinese visitors.
Whether or not vacationers from across the Taiwan Strait will come in great numbers is still moot. But even if expectations are met, the tourism industry and those government units responsible for assisting it should redouble their efforts to attract another kind of traveler: the medical tourist - a person who leaves their home country primarily to receive surgery or therapy abroad.
This market segment is more recession-proof than regular tourism, and much more lucrative per visitor. So far, Taiwan’s efforts to attract medical tourists have focused on nearby markets, such as Japan, where the population is rapidly aging, and mainland China. However, a more promising market exists on the other side of the Pacific, and it is one likely to grow as the economy worsens...To read the rest of the article, go here.